White House vs. White House: Opportunities and Threats in Releasing White House Down


I’ve heard them say, “Give Me the Same Thing… But Different.” Apparently someone took the advice…


There’s much controversy this year following the release of two films with very similar storylines: Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. Whereas the films were developed at similar times by competing studios, the FilmDistrict production Olympus Has Fallen jumped the gun to release before the Sony Pictures production White House Down. However, given the Olympus Has Fallen opening weekend’s successful release, The Hollywood Reporter brings up discussion of whether it will hurt or help White House Down and Sony’s confidence with their film.

Given Sony’s placement of White House Down releasing late June, it faces several opportunities and threats in context to its neck-and-neck competitor. Clearly, a threat would be that these two films pull almost identical audiences given their mirrored storylines and viewers may not want to watch what they think will be the same film. The article quotes a Sony executive who says, “This weekend demonstrates the audience appetite for this kind of material,” giving a counter argument to the fear of losing a potential audience. A possible opportunity from this point may also come from audiences’ desire to compare and contrast the films, allowing press to further advertise the film and encouraging audience to make their own opinions from the experience. Moreover, Sony’s White House Down sees opportunity in the studio’s quality filmmaking, with additional backing from a cast that is trending and age and ethnic diverse. Of course these are qualities also seen in Olympus Has Fallen’s cast, however the film has received poor reviews for its lackluster quality, giving Sony’s production space for competitive advantage.  Lastly, White House Down faces competitive tension from other Action-Drama films releasing in June, such as After Earth, Man of Steel, and World War Z. With equal quality and star-struck pull in comparison from these films, the Sony film will have a significant threat of succeeding in the box office with these similar films also in exhibition. Olympus Has Fallen’s current weekend box office results, two weeks in, places it 4th among a comparative film, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and other family films.

At this point, it is impossible to predict how White House Down will perform against Olympus Has Fallen until the film releases in June. However, White House Down is given an opportunity in shaping its marketing campaign to out-perform its competitor’s. Given the current discussion on the film, it seems that the Sony picture is already receiving attention that it can leverage in its campaign.


THR Source:

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